This post examines the struggle Probationer Disciples have with truly developing discernment in the mind. Often this comes about as a rebellion against the mind’s lower functions that they are beginning to see and evolve beyond. This can cause them to reject the mind and its uses altogether causing them to slip further into glamour making them seemingly regress, instead of progressing, on the spiritual path.
CHAPTER TEN: GROUP SEVEN, Part Five
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS LEVEL, CONT.
PUTTING DOWN THE MIND
The final difficulty I have associated with the Group 7 Probationer on the 6th subplane of the Mental Plane, is the difficulty they have with the mind. That difficulty with thinking might seem strange since Probationers have finally made it onto the Mental Plane. You would think that they would enjoy the mind more than ever. As we get to the 5th subplane of the Mental Plane, we will see that this becomes the case. But, for now, Probationers are too busy going through what in psychological terms is known as a “reaction formation” in regard to applying the mind in their spiritual lives. As Integrated Personalities in Group 6, the opposite was true. At that stage they used their minds more, but mainly as a tool to reject spirituality so they could seem more logical and less superstitious like members of Groups 2, 3, 4, and 5 tend to be. Initially as Integrated Personalities and Little Chelas in the Aspirant stage this was good. Though immersion in the realm of the five senses and emotional glamours still tend to dominate their lives, in valuing the mind more it represents how they are getting closer to the Mental Plane in their development.
But, as Little Chelas in the Probationer stage (who are part of Group 7) a certain level of confusion starts to set in. Probationers are no longer rejecting spiritual beliefs the way Integrated Personalities do who want to seem logical, rational, and non-superstitious. Probationers are seeing that it was not wise to throw the “baby out with the bathwater.” Spirituality they see still has a place in their lives, but in a more esoteric vs exoteric way. They recognize that when the mind is used only as a tool to look outwardly at the world through the five senses to objectively observe things there are limitations there. Their experiences have proven to them that they can be logical and have mystical experiences that are not just figments of their imagination. But, they don’t understand yet how to use their minds to penetrate into the realms beyond what the objective world reveals in a way that has a scientific and comprehensive approach. Unable to simply acknowledge that the new realms they are entering into are incredibly complex and difficult to understand, their egos lead them to over-simplify everything and collapse things down into betittling and even rejecting the realm of the mind and its complexities altogether.
As Robbins emphasizes in his Egoic Lotus Webinar Commentaries 3 Series, too many people in Group 7 erroneously think that the mind is the slayer of the real. What they don’t understand is what level of mind we are talking about here. Yes, the mind that is lost in the fogs of kama-manas (desire-mind) within Group 6 on the Emotional Plane will only believe as real whatever the five senses reveals. Yes, those who are Integrated Personalities within Group 6 are often using a failed logic, that is prejudiced by biases towards the realm of the five senses as being the only reality that exists. Worse, their “logical minds” and egos won’t even let them admit to or see their own prejudices as they assert how “unbiased” they are. But, as Robbins says, the mind can also be the revealer of the Real especially as we go up the Mental Plane and become more receptive to the Intuitional Plane with its “buddhic” like powerful capacity for discernment.
Another reason Probationers (and also Aspirants) may reject the right use of the mind is that they are simply too impatient to discipline their minds enough to use them correctly. The intellectual path to Self-Realization (known as Jnani Yoga) is simply too laborious. It is easier to just refuse to eat a hamburger, do some hatha yoga postures, chant on a set of mala beads, and say a quick prayer than to take the time to plunge deeper into the mystery of the Real. They also can more rapidly elevate themselves to heights of spiritual importance if they start channeling some super high being from another dimension or galaxy, without using their minds sufficiently enough to discern if messages coming through them are any more useful than a psychology 101 class at an average university or what you get in most self-help books. And, it is more magical and exciting to claim to have psychic powers, or be around a spiritual teacher who claims to be highly evolved, than to exercise the mind enough to see that they are really walking into a bunch of glamour, or worse being duped. So, instead of doing a deeper spiritual inquiry (which involves the mind) regarding what is going on regarding spiritual practices, teachings, and teachers, Probationers, who frequently feel overwhelmed and insecure regarding the emerging spiritual worlds, opt to just ignore the mind altogether.
Of course there are problems associated with putting too much emphasis on the intellect and the mind. We will look at these much more in the next chapter on the 5th subplane of the Mental Plane. Some of the problems we will look more closely in that chapter will include: 1) Mental indigestion that creates to a state of confusion from having been exposed to too many philosophical and spiritual traditions; 2) Mental arrogance that leads to a tendency to become all head and no heart in regards to one’s spiritual life; 3) Becoming mentally obtuse because one gets so caught up in minute details of spiritual life the person ends up losing the bigger picture. (Like spending time debating what the previous incarnation of our planet might have looked like, without even caring about the growing destruction of the planet we live on right now). 4) Believing that a mental comprehension of a spiritual truth is the same thing as a spiritual realization, which can only come about by practicing and assimilating spiritual truths and not just talking about them. Perhaps the Probationer has run into those who have these kind of “mental difficulties.” Because the Probationer is more devotional and idealistic and already struggling with the higher uses of the mind, when they are confronted with those who have the above problems they may be turned off by the mind even more.
None of this is useful, however, because the spiritual path is increasingly about exercising spiritual discernment (one of Baileys’ “higher psychic powers”). Without spiritual discernment we end up lumping Mother Teresa and Hitler together as equals. They are in their essence as Spirit. But, too many times Probationers (some under the claim of being a non-dualist) will do exactly that. Again everyone is equal in Spirit as Spirit is everything and everyone. Nonduality is the essence of the unmanifest world. Becoming aware of this truth is something that the Probationer recognizes first in theory, and later in fact. But, in the realm of manifestation, Hitler and Mother Teresa hardly are equivalent in their demonstration and embodiment of spiritual qualities. Failing to recognize this is like giving a gun to a four year-old, who lacks the discernment to understand how to use that gun properly.
By not seeing the dangers in giving too much power to someone like a Hitler, more Hitlers are allowed to exist in the world. And, by not pouring more energy into allowing those like a Mother Teresa to flourish, then the capacity for love and compassion to rule in the world is diminished. Knowing how to distinguish between a Mother Teresa and a Hitler is even ore critical at this next phase of human evolution since Group Six Integrated Personalities (who tend to be selfish and separative) are on the rise at this point (according to Bailey’s model). If Probationers are not wise enough to buffer and contain these selfish tendencies, then we could be moving into a very dark period where continued mass extinction of animals, plants, humans and even our entire planet will continue at a rapid pace. At the time Bailey was alive World War I and World War II both took place. Bailey stated very clearly that much of the fault for these two wars happening rested on the shoulders of those who had been too naïve, careless, and lazy in their spiritual discernment, spiritual practices and true love of humanity to have prevented them. As the now famous quote by Carlton Smith states, “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.” This kind of quote is hard for many Group 7 Probationers who struggle with the fact that true nondualism (the unmanifest realms) includes dualism (in the manifest realms). Too often they equate discernment with judgmentalism. There is such a thing as good and bad, or even good, better, and best in a relative (manifest) world. To see what is good/bad or good/better/best requires a high level of mental discernment. Without the discerning power of the mind in the world of relativity, we may have a very dire future on this planet if we are not careful.
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